Brands Do Ugly Holiday Sweaters, the 2022 Edition
by Rudy Sanchez on 11/29/2022 | 5 Minute Read
The air is crisp, the trees are bare, and the holidays are full steam ahead, which means all signs point to the start of the “ugly” holiday sweater season. The garish, knit-style tops are warm, comfortable, fun, and a total eyesore, so there’s little wonder why ugly sweaters are so popular.
For fans of fast food, beer, and CPG brands, it’s also an opportunity to represent in ugly sweater form. Every year some of the biggest brands include sweaters as part of their holiday collection of merchandise.
Most branded holiday sweaters usually follow the same knit pattern styles as traditional ugly sweaters with the inclusion of branded elements. Other sweaters have a more contemporary look with festive graphic elements such as snowflakes or holiday ornaments. Some are more explicitly Christmas, while other sweaters are non-denominational and stick to a more seasonal theme.
This holiday season, we rounded up some of the best branded ugly sweaters of 2022. The collection is a mix of sweet and savory, with brands from fast food, snacks, wine, beer, and more.
QSR chain Whataburger is a beloved Texas institution, so offering several ugly sweaters for its fans makes sense.
This year’s Whataburger sweater features the brand’s signature orange, matched with white and blue, and patterns of snowflakes, retro vans, and french fries. The sweater is part of an expansive holiday merch collection, including beanies, comfy pajamas, sweater vests, slippers, and other holiday-themed goodies.
Snacking is a big part of the holidays. The end of the year comes chockful of parties and gatherings with a spread of munchies to graze on while reveling and watching sports on TV.
Chips like Cheetos, Lay’s Original, and Ruffles are classic favorites and the inspiration behind a trio of ugly sweaters from Frito-Lay’s. Snack logos combine graphics like wrapped presents, stars, and Christmas trees.
Plus, each sweater comes with a corresponding bag of chips to munch on as you go over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house.
Speaking of snacks, Planters comes correctly with its set of holiday sweaters that feature Planter’s mascot, Mr. Peanut or Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, as he is more formally known.
Each design combines classic sweater patterns like red and green stripes, solid red, and blue with holiday elements like snowflakes and strings of peanut-shaped lights. All three sweaters feature the monocled legume mascot wearing a Santa hat, and “the nuttiest time of the year” goes across the top of the blue sweater.
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is open all day, every day, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Essentially, they're there for those last-minute items even when everyone else is closed.
7-Eleven’s ugly sweaters get printed with patterns that mimic knitting and use brand elements such as the logo, cups of swirled-filled cups of Slurpees, and the tagline “Oh Thank Heaven for 7-Eleven.” There are two designs, a 100% cotton crew-necked affair and a shiny polyester number that really goes hard on the “ugly” in “ugly sweater.”
Another QSR chain getting into the holiday spirit with sweaters is Sonic. Known for its thousands of drink combinations, Sonic’s cups feature prominently on its three holiday sweatshirts.
Unlike other brands, Sonic ditches the knit patterns, and all three designs are only mildly festive. The first sweatshirt is orange-colored with the words “Fa-La-La Limeade,” a reference to the song “Deck the Halls” and its beloved limeade. The “Holiday Haul” features a pattern consisting of a vintage station wagon with an oversized Sonic beverage cup on the roof instead of a Christmas tree. Finally, “Sippin’ in the Snow” has the same station wagon larger and in the middle of the sweatshirt surrounded by snowflakes.
Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments, but despite its characteristically red hue, its presence at the holidays isn’t as prominent, Heinz is getting into the festive spirit anyway. The ugly sweater design features Heinz’s signature keystone graphic, a bottle, and a tomato vine. They combined the brand’s red with grey and sand in a pleasant striped pattern that isn’t too outlandish while maintaining the spirit of the ugly sweater.
Fans of Budweiser, Bud Light, Busch, Natural Light, and Michelob have a variety of ugly sweaters to choose from at Anheuser-Busch’s Beer Gear shop. Some Budweiser designs highlight the brand’s famous Clydesdales pulling a beer delivery wagon. Many other sweater designs use cans and winter elements such as snowflakes.
In addition to ugly designs, Anheuser-Busch offers retro-styled sweaters and branded ski suits.
Sure, Miller Lite is known for beernaments or its Christmas tree keg stands, but they also have an ugly knit sweater in its 2022 holiday collection.
Miller Lite’s ugly sweater playfully arranges wheat stalks to form snowflakes, vines of hops, Christmas trees, and “It’s Miller Lite” turns into “‘Tis Miller Lite” for a festive twist on the brand’s tagline while blue and tan colors come punctuated with yellow and red.
For boxed wine lovers, Franzia has a series of ugly sweaters as part of its holiday offerings this year. Three knit-style sweaters in yellow, blue, and burgundy adorned with catchphrases like “Franz for Life” and “I Love Boxed Wine” accompany wine glasses, red cups, and snowflakes. The yellow sweater also includes battery-powered lights.
Additionally, there is a sweater featuring a box of Franzia wine wrapped in Christmas lights that actually light up. Finally, there is Budweiser/Franzia combo knit sweater that is red and wine-themed on one side and blue and Bud on the other.
Casual seafood restaurant brand Red Lobster is known for its Cheddar Bay Biscuits. This year, the lobster maven's ugly sweater looks to its signature biscuits for inspiration in its design.
On the front of the black sweater, a green sleigh made with whole shrimps and filled with a giant biscuit sits in the middle, surrounded by the phrase “Cheddar Bay Sleigh.” Snowflakes, lobsters on the sleeves, and more shrimp round out the design. Finally, the Red Lobster sweater includes an insulated pouch in the front for easy access to Cheddar Bay Biscuits because, of course.